The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, Hammerfest

4.4
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The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society locates a small exhibition in the town of Hammerfest, Norway. The significance of the polar bear is that this animal is the town's mascot and heraldic crest.For all its remoteness, Hammerfest has a long history as a trading port, and Isbjørnklubben as it is called in Norwegian - meaning simply Polar Bear Club - sets out to commemorate this. In the museum's single room are a variety of mementos of the early life of Hammerfest, including a profusion of stuffed animals, early Arctic hunting, traveling and camping equipment, and a gallery of photographs, paintings, drawings and writings of and from the town's history. The depict the town as it was in previous centuries, showing that as far back as the seventeenth century CE, this tiny town was a nexus for travelers and traders in the far north and a meeting point for the isolated people of North Norway, traders sailing up from southern Europe and hunters and traders coming west from the Arctic Ocean and Russia.Founded in 1963 by two local businessmen, the Polar Bear Club is not particularly ancient. Primarily, it is a somewhat jokey amenity for tourists. Although entrance to the actual exhibition is for a nominal charge, visitors are encouraged to join the Society, which is rewarded with a membership pack, the contents of which include a certificate signed by the actual mayor, a sticker, a membership card and a lapel pin made of silver and enamel. Since the only way to join is in person at the Polar Bear Society, this pin signifies as proof of visiting this remote place.
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The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society Reviews
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  • August 17, 2017
    One of the few spots in Hammerfest. Exhibits the history of fishing, as well as a polar bear. Admission is free, but The Polar Bear society membership is subject to charges. Space Tourist Information and souvenir shops, cruise port and crowded.
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  • July 26, 2017
    Our cruise ship stopped at Hammerfest for the day. One of the places we visited was the Polar Bear Society. It was founded in 1963 with a goal of preserving Hammerfest and its proud tradition as a bas...  more »
  • July 11, 2017
    Just a few short blocks from the Hurtigruten pier, follow the polar bear tracks painted on the sidewalk.....to an enchanting place to learn about the plight of polar bears and how their diminishing nu...  more »
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  • November 4, 2016
    Very interesting museum! If you wanna be a member of the Society, you must get in to the museum! The membership to the society was denied to Elvis Presley because he didn't come to Hammerfest in person.
  • June 28, 2017
    Quirky and informative
  • July 21, 2016
    Best place to visit in Hammerfest. Join the Polar Bear Society and become an supporter of the club.
  • September 21, 2012
    A very impressive, interesting museum.Didn't have time enough to see all the objects and to read the manuscripts. Purchased a fantastic book on West-Finnmark and became member of the Polar Bear Society! A MUST and not to be missed! Love to re-visit one day....
  • November 4, 2015
    Very impressive exabition that we visited back in 1999 or 2000. I became a lifetime member but was not able to visit yearly congress

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